A Lesson in the Dawn: Gandalf’s Advice

“The world is not in your books and maps, it’s out there.” -Gandalf the Grey

What I love about moving is the expectation, the future mystery of new, sweet friends and new community– all ways of seeing God.

It’s hearing new stories and walking the road, hard and narrow and holy as it is.

I’m not a fool to think that it’s all easy. But there is Life in all of it.

Gandalf called Bilbo out into the unknown adventure, and told him that if he returned home, he’d never be the same.

Bilbo slept that night, tossed and turned while dreams and nightmares, what-ifs and hows, distorted his rest.

And then the dawn broke.

And with the sun, his feet stepped  into adventure.


Because the world is not in our books or on our maps, but outside our door.

In 36 days we will spend our last night here and wake up to the dawn.

There is a map on our wall with a pin in it, and it marks Georgia as a destination.

And Eliot has no idea how near or far Georgia is, but only that we are going there and boxes are filling our home.

Boxes are piling, forming mountains of ugly brown with corners jutting out into the little space around them; the quiet, musty smell rising from them as they near the ceiling.

Plans change. And 36 days only feels like 5 because life moves and moves and does not slow down, not even for an afternoon in the quiet– it’s here and it’s gone.

Travis and I sat down to watch The Hobbit last night, and it seemed that Gandalf was speaking right to me, right at me, as if it wasn’t Gandalf at all, but another Voice that knows me all too well.

The world is out there, dear one. And you’ll never be the same.

Some days I can’t even gauge myself emotionally, words can’t even form to explain why I’m feeling overwhelmed.

Like Bilbo, I’m afraid to step out, but my heart is pulling me toward the adventure, and I must go.

And when the sun greets me in July, I will go. We will go. And we will never be the same.

Leave a Reply